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State Senator

Mae Flexer

Representing Brooklyn, Canterbury, Killingly, Mansfield, Putnam, Scotland, Thompson & Windham

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Senator Flexer Reaffirms Support for Democrats “Time’s Up” Bill

HARTFORD, CT – Today, the Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on 15 bills. Included on the docket was Senate Bill 3, “An Act Combatting Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment.” Also referred to as the “Time’s Up” bill, this legislation would increase certain sexual harassment penal-ties, extend the time limits people have to file lawsuits for sexual assault, allow more time for criminal prosecution of sexual assault, and require more employer-sponsored sexual harassment train-ing. Senator Mae Flexer (D-Killingly) is a member of the committee.

“This legislation seeks to address the antiquated laws that Connecticut has surrounding sexual assault and workplace harassment,” said Senator Flexer. “For too long, people have felt that they could not come forward and seek help because they would not be believed or they were scared of retribution from an employer. Although this is still far too common, in the era of ‘Time’s Up’ and ‘Me Too,’ society’s view on the issue of sexual assault and harassment is changing. This bill takes concrete steps to help change the status quo around what is considered acceptable behavior and ensures that women are being heard, action is being taken, and our workplaces are safer for all employees.”

Compared to other states and the District of Columbia, Connecticut’s statute of limitations for rape -- five years -- is one of the shortest in the country. Twenty-five other states have no statute of limitations for rape, and 20 states have a limit longer than Connecticut’s.

Senate Bill 3 would extend our existing statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes from five years to no limit in Class B and C felony sexual assault (e.g., forced rape, rape by drugs), and from five years to 25 years in felony sexual assault (e.g., forced sexual contact).

Senate Bill 3 eliminates the statute of limitations for sexual abuse of a minor, which would apply prospectively (going forward after passage), and it eliminates the statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims against an adult, which would also apply prospectively.

Currently, employers with only 50 or more employees are required to provide at least two hours of training on sexual harassment to supervisory employees within six months of their employment. Senate Bill 3 requires employers with three or more employees to provide training to all employees. Two hours of training for all employees, not just supervisors, would also be required.

Organizations such as the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence, the Center for Family Justice, the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the Women and Families Center, and the state Victim Advocate all submitted written testimony in support of Senate Bill 3.

“Connecticut should lead on this issue and show the rest of the nation that sexual assault and harassment cannot and should not be tolerated,” Senator Flexer said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this legislation.”

The Judiciary Committee has until April 12 to vote on the bill.

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